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Jul 9 • 56:49
Slow Down and Noticefinding art in nature with Mary Jo Hoffman
Episode:

Slow Down and Noticefinding art in nature with Mary Jo Hoffman

July 9, 2024 • 56:49 • Greta Eskridge

Todays episode is extra special to me because I got to talk to Mary Jo Hoffman, someone I have followed online and admired for more than 10 years! Mary Jo is an artist whose art form is taking photographs of found nature on black or white backgrounds. As an avid nature collector myself, I absolutely loved her beautiful art and became a fan instantly. 

 

Mary Jo is a rocket scientist turned artist, blogger, and now author of the book, Still, the Art of Noticing. She married to a James Beard award winning food writer, a mom to 2 kids, and she lives in St. Paul Minnesota. 

 

Mary Jos art has made her into a noticer. Collecting pieces of nature and photographing them daily has made her slow down and really notice all the beauty there is in the natural world, no matter the season. We have a great discussion about her art and her book and the ways we can help our kids become noticers too, even though they are growing up in a world that doesnt really celebrate slowing down. I know youll come away inspired by this episode. And maybe you and your kids can start a habit of noticing nature and loving the beauty of nature, just like Mary Jo has.  

 

Some links for you from this episode: 

To see the art of Lisa Congdon, the artist who was an inspiration for Mary Jo, go here 

To learn more about the 72 micro seasons in Japan, go here 

Find the Beatrix Potter book here 

Find Mary Jos book here 

Read Mary Jos blog here 

Follow Mary Jo on Instagram here 

 

Some favorite quotes from this episode:  

*The natural world drew me in first not as a source of beauty to observe, but as an expression of mathematics, and physics: I loved natural shapes for the trial-and-error perfection of their function; I loved seed pods for the ingenuity of their dispersal mechanisms; I loved the algorithms of spirals, saw toothed leaf tips, and the shapes of trees that imitated the shapes of rivers and their tributaries. Mary Jo Hoffman 

* We dont value slowing down very much as a culture and we miss out as a result. Greta Eskridge  

*As the project progressed, so too my definition of seasonality was redefined. I noticed not big sweeping changes in temperature and light, but daily changes. I noticed the exact day the sap began to run. The day the first catkins exploded. The day the lilacs opened. And the day the first orange maple leaf appeared. And I captured it all, one high-resolution image at a time, for ten years. The attentiveness required to make an image a day led to a depth of understanding I had not expected. The more narrow and deep I went, the more my world expanded. Mary Jo Hoffman 

* Kids dont know the names of anything in nature anymore. How do we grow tomorrows stewards of the environment if the kids dont have an attachment to it? Mary Jo Hoffman 

* Learning names of things in nature makes you care about them more. Because then you have a relationship and connection beyond, thats a pretty flower. Greta Eskridge 

*How do you raise creative kids? You model it every day. Mary Jo Hoffman 

*Give your kids space and time for creativity. Greta Eskridge 

* Part of being a noticer is having childlike wonder. Mary Jo Hoffman 

* Owning the responsibilities of sharing the awe and wonder of the natural world is one of the duties of being a parent. Mary Jo Hoffman 

* Look for micro joys in your life! Mary Jo Hoffman 

 

If you havent already, please take a minute to subscribe to this podcast. Id also be so very grateful if you leave a 5-star rating and write a quick review.  

Reviews are incredibly helpful to me as a new podcaster. 

Thank you for listening and being part of my team.  

I love you guys! 

Greta 

 

Podcast:

The Greta Eskridge Podcast

With Greta Eskridge
We're living in a time filled with distraction and disconnection from the things that matter most. Things like faith, family, friendship, and childhood innocence feel harder and harder to hold onto. But I believe a joyful, connected life is possible with Jesus's help because he offers us life to the full! It's time to open our eyes to the wonder God has put all around us, so join me each week on The Greta Eskridge Podcast as some of my favorite friends and I explore ways to create connection in our families and chase joy through both the peaks and valleys of parenting and life.
All Episodes:
Jul 23 • 39:58
Giving Moms a Vision with Jennifer Pepito

My guest today is my real life friend, the incredible Jennifer Pepito. Jen is a mom to 7 and a grandma to 1.  She is a homeschooler and has been homeschooling for 26 years! Jen is the creator and founder of The Peaceful Press, an author several books, including her newest one, Habits for a Sacred Home -9 Practices from History to Anchor and Restore Modern Families. I love many things about Jen, but her approach to motherhood has always inspired me so much. She engages in motherhood with so much intentionality and care and that is really the focus of her new book. Jen also highlights the importance and power we are given in our roles as mothers. Her new book is incredibly empowering and inspiring. I loved hearing more about the women Jen highlighted in her book and learning from their stories and I know you will too! 

 

Some links from todays episode: 

Find Jennifers website The Peaceful Press here 

Follow Jennifer on Instagram here 

Get Jennifers book, Habits for a Sacred Home here 

Listen to Jennifers podcast here 

Find out about the homeschooling community Wild and Free here 

Find the book The Benedict Option here 

Find the book How the Irish Saved Civilization here 

Find the book For the Childrens Sake here 

Find Tish Oxenreiders Rule of Life course here 

 

Some favorite quotes from todays episode: 

*As mothers, we are teaching our children to value the natural world. We are teaching our children how to read and how to value living books. Appreciation of art, reading real books, picking up after themselves, having dinner around the table and looking at each other in the eye--these are all classical and practical arts, lost arts, that we are saving as mothers. Jennifer Pepito 

*We as moms are saving our culture with normal, everyday practices we engage in with our families. Jennifer Pepito 

*There is power in seemingly simple acts like eating dinner at the table with our family every night. Greta Eskridge 

*So much of what we do as mothers can seem hard in the moment, but when we can recognize how powerful it is and what heroes we are for doing it, it can give us a new perspective and make us feel more empowered by what were doing. Jennifer Pepito 

*The real change starts at home and it starts with moms. Chris McKenna 

*We are stepping into the lives of our children and making generational impact. Greta Eskridge  

*Its so important for moms to have a vision of what they could be like. Jennifer Pepito 

*The fight to which we have been called is not an easy fight. We are touching the very center of the devils power and kingdom, and he hates us intensely and fights hard against us. We have no chance at all of winning in this fight unless we are disciplined soldiers, utterly out-and-out and uncompromising, and men and women of prayer. Amy Carmichael 

*If the devil cant make you sin, hell make you busy. Corrie ten Boom 

I do not think anything worth having in the spiritual world is easily attained. There is no shortcut to holiness. But there can be a true, humble, loving choice of the soul, and that choice, becoming a habit, will lead it into peace. Amy Carmichael 

Jul 16 • 50:41
Protecting Our Kids from Tricky People with Sara Ernst

My guest today is Sara Ernst. Sara is a nature lover, a singer, a musician, an artist, a poet and a writer. She is the whole package! She is a wife and mom too, and lives with her family in Virginia. 

A childhood experience with a tricky person, her love of music and wanting to help protect kids all unexpectedly led her to write a song and a book that teaches and equips young children to use their voice to protect themselves. Her book, her music and her work are fantastic and so helpful to many families. You are going to come away with so many practical, helpful tips for keeping your kids safe from tricky people. I am really glad to have Sara on the show today! 

 

Some links from todays show: 

Visit Saras website here 

Follow Sara on Instagram here 

Find Saras music here 

Find Saras book, Shout No! here 

Download the Shout No song and coloring sheet here 

Find Saras book, Poetry for the Wild and Curious Ones, here 

Find Gretas book here 

 

Some of my favorite quotes from todays episode: 

*Parents dont want to talk to their kids about tricky people because they want to protect their kids innocence. But we have to tell our kids that tricky people exist so we can give them to tools to protect themselves from the tricky people. Greta Eskridge  

*I wanted to write something gentle yet effective that would equip kids from an early age and would give the words to shout no and run away from tricky people. Sara Ernst 

*We can react to our experiences by simply moving on, or we can let them fester and turn to bitterness or shame or we can say, I wish that wouldnt have happened, but Im going to do something positive with it now. Greta Eskridge 

*When we tell our kids not to cross the street without us we dont go into graphic details about what can happen if they get hit by a car. We just tell them, you could get hurt because that is all they need to know. It is the same with giving our kids information about predators. We dont give them scary information; we give them empowering information. Greta Eskridge 

*Music is sticky! Sara Ernst 

*Teach your kids that anyone can be a tricky person, because most abuse happens with people the children know. And teach them how to respond to tricky people. Sara Ernst 

* We are empowering our kids not making them afraid. Greta Eskridge 

 

Jul 9 • 56:49
Slow Down and Noticefinding art in nature with Mary Jo Hoffman

Todays episode is extra special to me because I got to talk to Mary Jo Hoffman, someone I have followed online and admired for more than 10 years! Mary Jo is an artist whose art form is taking photographs of found nature on black or white backgrounds. As an avid nature collector myself, I absolutely loved her beautiful art and became a fan instantly. 

 

Mary Jo is a rocket scientist turned artist, blogger, and now author of the book, Still, the Art of Noticing. She married to a James Beard award winning food writer, a mom to 2 kids, and she lives in St. Paul Minnesota. 

 

Mary Jos art has made her into a noticer. Collecting pieces of nature and photographing them daily has made her slow down and really notice all the beauty there is in the natural world, no matter the season. We have a great discussion about her art and her book and the ways we can help our kids become noticers too, even though they are growing up in a world that doesnt really celebrate slowing down. I know youll come away inspired by this episode. And maybe you and your kids can start a habit of noticing nature and loving the beauty of nature, just like Mary Jo has.  

 

Some links for you from this episode: 

To see the art of Lisa Congdon, the artist who was an inspiration for Mary Jo, go here 

To learn more about the 72 micro seasons in Japan, go here 

Find the Beatrix Potter book here 

Find Mary Jos book here 

Read Mary Jos blog here 

Follow Mary Jo on Instagram here 

 

Some favorite quotes from this episode:  

*The natural world drew me in first not as a source of beauty to observe, but as an expression of mathematics, and physics: I loved natural shapes for the trial-and-error perfection of their function; I loved seed pods for the ingenuity of their dispersal mechanisms; I loved the algorithms of spirals, saw toothed leaf tips, and the shapes of trees that imitated the shapes of rivers and their tributaries. Mary Jo Hoffman 

* We dont value slowing down very much as a culture and we miss out as a result. Greta Eskridge  

*As the project progressed, so too my definition of seasonality was redefined. I noticed not big sweeping changes in temperature and light, but daily changes. I noticed the exact day the sap began to run. The day the first catkins exploded. The day the lilacs opened. And the day the first orange maple leaf appeared. And I captured it all, one high-resolution image at a time, for ten years. The attentiveness required to make an image a day led to a depth of understanding I had not expected. The more narrow and deep I went, the more my world expanded. Mary Jo Hoffman 

* Kids dont know the names of anything in nature anymore. How do we grow tomorrows stewards of the environment if the kids dont have an attachment to it? Mary Jo Hoffman 

* Learning names of things in nature makes you care about them more. Because then you have a relationship and connection beyond, thats a pretty flower. Greta Eskridge 

*How do you raise creative kids? You model it every day. Mary Jo Hoffman 

*Give your kids space and time for creativity. Greta Eskridge 

* Part of being a noticer is having childlike wonder. Mary Jo Hoffman 

* Owning the responsibilities of sharing the awe and wonder of the natural world is one of the duties of being a parent. Mary Jo Hoffman 

* Look for micro joys in your life! Mary Jo Hoffman 

 

If you havent already, please take a minute to subscribe to this podcast. Id also be so very grateful if you leave a 5-star rating and write a quick review.  

Reviews are incredibly helpful to me as a new podcaster. 

Thank you for listening and being part of my team.  

I love you guys! 

Greta 

 

Jul 2 • 21:27
Helping our kids opt into connection with - me!

Todays episode is all me. This one really is The Greta Eskridge Podcast! I like to have these episodes every month or so, where I get to catch up with you and share whatever is on my heart and mind at the time. Today Im sharing thoughts on why it is so imperative for us to help our kids not just opt out of social media, gaming, and hours spent on a screen, but to opt into real life! That means opting into real life experiences and real life relationships and real life connections with the world and the people who live here. I share some sobering idea, but also encouragement that this isnt as difficult as we might think. 

 

Im also sharing something exciting for you all, my podcast community! For the month of July and August I am inviting you to join me in an online cook club, reading my book Adventuring Together. If you have already read the book, you can join, or if youre picking it up for the first time, you can join too. Well spend the month of July reading the book and then you can join me for a live book club meeting where well chat and you guys can ask questions and it will be a great time! Ill also be sharing one of my most favorite talks, The Connecting Power of Adventure online for the first time. And my podcast listeners will have the opportunity to see that too. To take advantage of these opportunities Im inviting you to join me on Substack. If you arent a Substack reader yet, its simply an online platform where writers like me can share our work and create a community with our readers. You can visit my website or my Instagram feed for all the details. I know were going to have a lot of fun, and be motivated and inspired to cultivate lasting connection with our kids and this beautiful world we live in! 

 

Important links from todays episode here: 

My favorite herbal blend of tea for sun tea here (I also like to add 2 or 3 bags of decaf black tea to the brew to make it a little stronger)  

Find my website and all the book club info here 

Find my book, Adventuring Together, here 

For more adventurous, connecting ideas, see my childrens book here 

Follow me on Instagram here 

See Erin Loechners book, The Opt Out Family, here 

 

 

Some favorite quotes from todays episode: 

*In order to help our kids opt out of social media, video games, endless screen time, and even pornography use, we have to offer them something better! Greta Eskridge 

*The algorithms are designed to make us want to stay on the screen, to scroll, and to watch for hours. So, we have to offer our kids something better! Greta Eskridge 

* If our only goal is to check a lot of adventures or activities off the list with our kids, but were not using those things to build, and cultivate connection with them, then were all missing out. Greta Eskridge 

*Adventure is the vehicle, but connection is the goal. Greta Eskridge 

* If we consistently offer our kids the opportunity to experience the real world with the people they love to be with, theyll want to choose that over the false connection, and even the false experiences offered through technology. Greta Eskridge 

*If people can just have an amazing virtual experience, why would they want to go through the effort, expense and bother of having a real one? Why would they want to have real life friendships, or real life relationships when they can have that with an image on a screen? This is the danger of satisfying your desires in a made up world, where life is easy and you expend no physical or emotional energy. Greta Eskridge 

*It is critical we create an appetite for real adventure and real experiences and real connection with the world and with its people in our kids! They need to experience struggle and hard work and being emotionally connected to others. There is so much at stake here. Greta Eskridge 

*It imperative that I not only pursue real life connection with my kids, but also teach them how to recognize it and to pursue it themselves. Greta Eskridge 

*This is more than just a list of things to do with your kids this summer. This is an invitation to you to begin creating connection and relationship with your kids that will stand the test of time. Greta Eskridge 

Jun 25 • 45:13
The Opt Out FamilyGiving Your Kids What Technology Cant with Erin Loechner

In this episode I got to talk to my internet friend turned real life friend, Erin Loechner. Erin is a homeschooling mom to 3, a wife, a gifted writer and an incredibly creative, brilliant, unique person. I adore her. 

In this episode Erin shared with us about her brand-new book, The Opt-Out Family: How to Give Your Kids What Technology Cant.  Erins book is a call to action and an invitation for every parent. It calls them to sit up and take notice of how the algorithm is coming after our kids, and then invites them to do something about it. The book is full of compelling research and helpful, practical ideas for helping your family opt out.  

What makes Erins book even more compelling is that she is actually living that life with her family. Four years ago Erin left her successful career as a social media influencer, shut down her social media accounts and opted out. She knows what she is talking about. I really enjoyed this conversation with Erin and I learned a lot. I know you will too. 

Here are some of my favorite quotes from this episode: 

*I wanted to model for my daughter what it looked like to have a vibrant career and life without social media.  

*If my kids say, I dont like how social media makes me feel, but I dont know any other way. I want to be able to say, Ive got another way. Lets do it together.  

*You cant know the opportunity missed but you can know the fruit gained.  

*This is the world our children live in, where playground swings become selfie props. It is not an accident. It is the work of the algorithm. It is the work of a machine, a mission and a great strategy dreamed up by people in board rooms who make a living by stealing a life.  

*We are no longer asking why we would opt out. We are asking how we opt out.  

*Its not enough to say no to devices. We have to say yes to something better.  

*We parents can do it better than the tech guys!  

*Our kids just want to be with us. Its really so simple.  

*There is a powerful message being sent to parents that our kids dont want to be with us, especially as they grow up. Then we get afraid and think we have to compete, to be cool, to be better than Tik Tok. But when we slow down and just spend time with our kids, even our teens, we find out that they really do want to be with us.  

*Start here: Give your kids your eyes.  

The 2 books Erin and I talked about are: The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio (here) and Grandma Gatewoods Walk (here) Chase joy and go read them now! 

Find Erins book here 

Visit her website here for additional resources and helpful info. 

 

If you havent already, please take a minute to subscribe to my podcast.  

Id also be so very grateful if you leave a 5-star rating and write a quick review.  

Reviews are incredibly helpful to me as a new podcaster. 

Thank you for listening and being part of my team.  

I love you guys! 

Greta 

 

About the Host

Greta Eskridge

Greta Eskridge is a second-generation homeschooler, an author, a speaker, and a podcast host. Greta’s faith in God is the lens through which she sees the world.

Greta loves encouraging parents to pursue joyful, connected parenting. And she is passionate about helping families create connection in a disconnected world through things like purposeful adventures, online safety, and keeping their eyes wide open to wonder. Greta firmly believes that “joy is the serious business of heaven” and is on mission to chase joy through both the peaks and valleys of parenting and life.

Greta lives in sunny southern California with her artist husband, Aaron, and their four kids--1 young adult and 3 teens. Greta loves nature, books and coffee and her favorite place to be is on a hiking trail. 

More from Greta →

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